Athens has some magnificent blockbuster museums – the Nationwide Archaeological Museum is an absolute should – however the expertise, although gratifying, might be overwhelming within the wealth and the breadth of exhibitions. To get nearer to historical past, a smaller museum might be simply the factor. Our greatest decide for an intimate and rewarding museum expertise is the Numismatic Museum of Athens. An unlimited and complete assortment of reveals narrates the story of Greece in a tangible approach. However for a lot of, the primary attraction is the setting. For no matter motive you visit- the collections, the historic mansion, or certainly even the charming and shady backyard cafe – you’ll discover the Numismatic Museum an oasis of tradition and delight within the sunny coronary heart of downtown Athens.
The “Iliou Melathron” – One of many Most Well-known Buildings of Grand Neoclassical Athens
Even the customer who has no sturdy curiosity in coinage will discover a go to right here deeply rewarding, for the Numismatic Museum is housed in a single essentially the most spectacular neoclassical buildings of nineteenth century Athens, and has an enchanting story deeply linked to the traditional Greece of historical past and delusion.
When Fashionable Greece was established after the Battle of Independence, Athens was however a small village with a spectacular historical past. Think about the Acropolis and its parthenon surrounded by a tangle of humble dwellings, and comparatively few of these. With the institution of the Kingdom of Greece and the transfer of the nation’s capital from Nafplio, the primary capital, to Athens, a marketing campaign of constructing commenced. The Illiou Melathron was amongst them.
Heinrich Schliemann – Archaeologist and Dreamer
The Illiou Melathron means “The palace of Iliou” or fairly “The Palace of Troy.” The Illiou Melathron, though removed from the Troy of Homer, is intimately tied to its story, as that story is now tied to some of the dynamic personalities on this planet of Archaeology of the nineteenth century, the fascinating Heinrich Schliemann.
Schliemman, having amassed a fantastic fortune in worldwide commerce, used his wealth to comply with his ardour: archaeology, and, particularly, his quest for archaeological proof that the Troy of Homer that has so captured his creativeness has actually existed. He discovered what he was on the lookout for in present-day Turkey, unearthing nice treasures he offered because the Jewels of Helen of Troy, the Gold of Priam.
The Iliou Melathron was Athen’s most spectacular non-public residence when it was constructed. The luxurious inside, boldly awash in shade, has partitions inscribed with quotations in Historical Greek. Schiller lived right here along with his Greek spouse Sophia and their youngsters Andromache and Agamaemnon: we even have Schliemann to thank for the excavation of Mycenae.
The Huge Collections of the Numismatic Museum of Athens
However after all, many additionally come for the world-class collections on show on this fabulous setting. Millenia of Greek historical past is on show. Numbering properly over half one million particular person objects, the collections of the Numismatic Museum rival these of the Biliotheque Nationale, the Hermitage, and the British Museum, amongst others.
However apart from being spectacular, the gathering additionally actually brings centuries of on a regular basis Greek society to life: whereas cash are essentially the most prevalent, every part associated to commerce can also be on show, providing a wonderful overview of commerce within the historic world. We see dies and stamps, customary measures, and different objects associated to commerce.
The gathering spans Bronze Age Greece of the 14th century BC to our current period for a stunning overview. Highlights concentrate on the coinage of Greece’s best-known eras – from the Golden Age of Athens (fifth century BC, when the Parthenon was constructed), by means of the Hellenistic period (that’s the 4th-1st centuries BC, encompassing the period of the dominion of Macedon and Alexander the Nice), the Roman period (1st by means of 4th centuries AD – from the pagan world of the ancients to the daybreak of Christianity), and the start of the nice Byzantine Empire.
What You’ll See on the Numismatic Museum of Athens
Greece within the Historical World, as you already know, was organized into a strong community of nice Metropolis-States. Coinage from all of them represents the well-known kings and rulers in nice element. The Roman republic too is on full show, with the likenesses of Roman Emperors and the provinces of the huge empire represented. In flip, the Byzantine emperors and provinces are additionally represented in lovely shows.
This coveted a part of the world was usually conquered and occupied by means of its lengthy historical past. Among the many conquerors had been the Franks – this time period covers the Christian Latin occupations of the Venetokratoria – the rule of the Venetians, and the Franckratoria – of the French and the Franks, relationship from the 4th campaign at starting of the thirteenth century (1204).
From the fifteenth by means of the nineteenth centuries, Greece was occupied by the Muslim world because it was encompassed y the huge Ottoman Empire. Associated cash and objects illustrate this lengthy interval of historical past for the customer.
After the Battle of Independence and the institution of the Fashionable Greek State, we see the triumphant return of the traditional Drachma in coin and on banknotes.
An Oasis within the Heart of Athens – The Numismatic Museum’s Cafe
Locals usually go to the Illiou Melathron to meet up with their mates over espresso, drinks, and lightweight snacks within the charming backyard cafe. It’s an ideal [lace to refresh yourself and unwind during a day of sight-seeing in Athens. There are also often events here, such as garden concerts. Check the museum’s website for details.
How to Visit the Numismatic Museum
The Numismatic Museum is easy to find, in the very heart of the historic center of Athens, mere steps from Syntagma Square (less than five minutes on foot). The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. But it’s always best to confirm hours on the website above before visiting.
The admission costs 6eu/ 3 eu reduced. Also, it is included on the specially priced 15 eu ticket, which is valid for the Archaeological Museum, the Epigraphic Museum, and the Byzantine and Christian Museum.
Near the Numismatic Museum
Continuing along Panepistimiou Street another five minutes will bring you to the famous Athenian Trilogy: The National Library, the Academy, and the University, the work of Danish architects Christiand and Theophil Hansen (Ziller was a pupil of Theophil Hansen).
For another beautiful experience of Athenian neoclassicism, a three-minute walk from the National library will bring you to the Loverdos Mansion, Ziller’s own home, which is open 8:30 am to 3:30 pm daily except for Tuesday. Unlike the buildings of the neoclassical trilogy, you can wander around inside and explore; it’s marvelous, and the admission is free.